Brands that are able to demonstrate their differences from rival firms are seeing higher rates of growth, new figures have revealed.

According to research firm Millward Brown’s data on the world’s 100 most valuable brands, organisations that consumers perceive to be different have grown by 336 per cent during the last ten years.

By contrast, those that are not seen to be particularly different have grown by 23 per cent during the same period.

Peter Walshe, global BrandZ director at Millward Brown, believes innovation is therefore crucial for any company that wants to steal a march on its rivals.

However, he insisted that firms must avoid innovating just for the sake of it and instead show they are “meaningfully different” from their competitors.

This appears to be true even of well-established brands. For instance, Coca-Cola ranked eighth in the list of the world’s most valuable names, ahead of modern giants such as Facebook and Amazon.

Bobby Brittain, marketing director at the drinks manufacturer in the UK and Ireland, believes this is partly down to its constant evolution.

He said Coca-Cola is always “adapting and innovating to ensure we are meeting the needs of our consumers, as well as attracting new ones”.

Mr Brittain acknowledged that Coca-Cola’s long history is a key aspect of its brand proposition, but said its efforts to ensure people fully understand its wider offering have also helped to strengthen its brand.

For instance, he noted that it has been working to bring the four variants of Coca-Cola together under a single banner in Europe to make customers fully aware of the choice available to them right now.

“By adopting this ‘one brand’ strategy, we are focusing on building one brand and extending its appeal,” Mr Brittain said.

Differentiation makes the difference for top 100 brands, Marketing Week

Posted by Robin McCrink